Non-Sexual Forms of INTIMACY

When we speak about intimacy, our minds tend to go directly to “sexual” intimacy. However, intimacy goes beyond the bedroom. There is more to intimacy than just sex and getting frisky. It’s connecting on the deepest level emotionally, vulnerably, energetically, and spiritually to others—not just a partner but friends, family, or someone else in your life.

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Some forms of non-sexual intimacy are:

Listening: One of our deepest needs and desires is to be heard. When a friend or your partner listens to you (truly listens!), they are:

· Investing in what you’re saying

· Showing they want to connect

· Interested in what you have to say

· Care about how you feel

When a person truly listens, they don’t seek distractions (e.g., sneaking a look at their phone). A person who is truly listening will have constant eye contact with you and hear without the need to interrupt or redirect the conversation. Listening is intimate and it is sexy (even if it’s in a platonic way).

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Compliments/Words of affirmation: Everyone loves to be complimented, and our serotonin skyrockets when we receive compliments or words of flattery. Compliments and words of affirmation let us feel worthy and good about ourselves. This feeling creates an intimacy between the person giving the compliment and the person receiving it.

Gift giving: It’s not necessarily about the gift. It’s about the fact that someone has thought about giving you a gift and take the time and energy to consider what the recipient would appreciate. Many of us have received gifts that are not quite up our alley (maybe a pair of dollar-store socks?). When we realize that the giver put thought into gifting us, even if it wasn’t something we liked, it creates deep intimacy and connection. Why? Because being thought of feels amazing, even if the gift itself isn’t the greatest. 

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Laughter, goofing around, and inside jokes: Laughter is incredible medicine for the soul. When we laugh with our friends, partners, or loved ones; when we play and goof around, drop the seriousness, and share inside jokes, intimacy is born. Life can be too heavy and serious sometimes but sharing laughter with loved ones or friends and having playful and silly moments infuses your connection with lightness and creates intimacy.

Sharing mutual interests: Sharing interests, or displaying an interest in what someone is reading, watching, doing, or listening to and how they feel about that interest, strengthens an intimate bond. Even if your interests are not necessarily shared, ask questions and show them that you’re interested in their interests because of how you feel about that person. Speak with your friends, your family, or your partner about their favorite music at the moment, the book they are reading, or the podcast they are listening to. Show an interest in their interests and you may surprise yourself and discover something you had not even thought to be interested in before!  

Affection:  Hugging and nonsexual physical touch increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter known as the “feel good” hormone. Serotonin helps us feel happy, calm, and confident, which in turn allows intimacy to deepen. Hugging and other forms of nonsexual touching also cause your brain to release oxytocin, which is also known as the “bonding hormone.” Bonding is intimacy. Whether you’re hugging a friend, a romantic interest, or a partner, know that it is boosting your intimacy within the connection.

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Quiet time: Believe it or not, just sitting in a pause between conversations with a friend or loved one is intimacy. Just being present in each other’s company without having to fill the silence shows that you are connected on a level that goes beyond words. Sitting in the silence of each other’s presence is true intimacy.

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Kendall Jenner’s Tips for Living As Her Highest Self Are Pretty Genius

Whether you watch The Kardashians or you’re one of her 261 million IG followers, you know Kendall Jenner is no stranger to the spotlight but also to the wellness scene. IV therapy, cold plunges, meditation sound bowls, and journaling are a few wellness practices she religiously stands by. If that doesn’t convince you of her self-proclaimed health obsession, her state-of-the-art room dedicated to all thing’s wellness will. Complete with a hyperbaric chamber, red light therapy bed, and oxygen therapy machine, it’s every wellness girl’s dream (major envy). Gadgets and gizmos aside, Kendall has open dialogues with the media and on social media about her mental health and struggles with anxiety.

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Thanks to her recent interview with Jay Shetty on his podcast, On Purpose with Jay Shetty, we got the 411 on her self-work and steadfast wellness rituals. Read on for how she stays in tune with her highest self. Spoiler alert: They are practices you will not find on Hulu or Instagram, and we can all benefit from them.  

Foster your higher goddess

In Kendall’s work with her therapist, she focuses on living in her higher goddess, AKA her higher self. What does that look like? Words of affirmation, reassuring yourself of who you are, and recognizing everything else is just noise. “Sometimes it feels weird to say good things about yourself, but I’ve also learned a lot about talking to myself and a lot about looking in the mirror and being like, ‘You’re great. You’re gorgeous. You’re amazing. You’re loyal. You’re positive.’” 

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Admittedly, Kendall falls victim to false narratives. Like us all, she has moments she struggles to stay true to who she is and her purpose. “If your happiness depends on the actions of others, you’re at [the] mercy of things that you can’t control,” she stated. Kendall emphasized holding your happiness and not letting anyone else affect it. If you know yourself and the people important in your life know your true self, nothing else should matter. When Shetty asked Kendall, “What’s something you used to value but you don’t value anymore?” Her answer? Validation. 

Set aside alone time

It’s no secret that Kendall is surrounded by a large family and famous friends (hey, Hailey Bieber) in addition to her entourage. But she told Shetty that since she was a kid, the Scorpio in her enjoyed being by herself. “I went through a phase where I felt like I had to be around people,” shared Kendall. “I think I live a very social life, and my job is very social, so I was kind of conditioned to want to be around people a lot. And then, as the pandemic came around, you’re not around as many people anymore. Now I’m just re-enjoying being by myself, which is cool.”

At the end of the day, Kendall craves a simple routine. Her perfect day consists of riding her horses, taking a cold plunge, laying out, and journaling. Taking a cue from Kendall, give yourself space and step away when needed. Additionally, be comfortable in your own company. Sometimes the best remedy for a bad day is journaling (yes, it bears repeating), taking a solo walk outside, meditating, or picking up a new hobby.

Set boundaries at work 

Let’s face it: We all experience burnout, celeb or not. Kendall expressed there was a long period she was overworked, felt overwhelmed, and said “yes” to every opportunity—to the point where she was unhappy (anyone else relates?). Eventually, she learned to prioritize herself. She realized her well-being was necessary to show up better in her personal and professional life. So, she took a step back in her career to reconnect with her higher self: “I got to that point, and I just knew I had to do it…” Kendall explained. “It was just such an unbelievable sensation that I had where I knew that if I do this, I’m going to be better for everyone. And I’m going to be better for myself, which means I’m going to be better for the people around me.”

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Learn to recognize the signs of burnout (think: fatigue, feeling apathetic with your work, changes to your sleep patterns). Then, enforce work-life boundaries to care for your mental health and restore a healthy balance. Maybe that means being upfront and communicating with your boss or taking time off. Or, it’s just saying “no” to taking on more projects or a meeting invite scheduled during your lunch break. Ultimately, your mental and physical health should be your number one priority (I know that’s sometimes easier said than done).

Stay grounded in your relationships 

When it comes to her family and friends, Kendall told Shetty that honesty and communication are her core values in maintaining healthy relationships. “I find it important to not feel like you’re on top of each other when you have your family around or your friends around,” she said. “It’s OK to sometimes, even if you’re at a family dinner, run to the bathroom and just being like, ‘Let me just take a couple of breaths because this is getting overwhelming.’” 

Kendall shared that she’s prone to anxiety and can take things too seriously. When she feels inundated with family circumstances or stress, she recognizes her feelings: “I’m allowed to feel this way; it’s valid. I’m just going to take a deep breath, and I’m not going to react, and then I’m going to go back out there, and I’m going to be fine.” Try being in Kendall’s shoes (wouldn’t that be fun?) and pause whenever you feel overwhelmed. Give yourself a safe space to express your feelings through journaling, speaking to a mental health professional, or practicing deep breathing.

Nurture your inner child

After coming across a viral TikTok trend encouraging viewers to stop negative self-talk by picturing their younger selves, Kendall’s therapist suggested she put a spin on it and find a photo of herself as a child to put on her bathroom mirror. Take a glance at her Instagram, and you’ll see the Polaroid of young Kendall. It serves as a daily reminder that anything negative that she says about herself, she’s saying to that beaming, hair bow-wearing younger version of herself. “If I’m ever looking in the mirror and being negative toward myself, I always look right over to her, and I’m like, ‘She’s dope, and I love her,’” Kendall laughed.

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Bottom line: Practice self-love and find tactics that work for you. If you’re not sure where to start, try exercising mindfulness, putting yourself and your needs first, or simply making yourself a healthy meal. Regardless of your method, keep being kind to yourself, just as you would your 5-year-old self or BFF.

Our New Favorite FALL COCKTAIL

At BeautyLeeBar, we love seasonal cocktails. Sometimes it’s more involved than others, but this round, we are keeping it easy as pie—minus all of the sweetness, because there’s an actual pie for that. Our friend over at Meatless Makeovers’ go-to martini is our pick this season because we are feeling caper berries right now! Imagine a regular caper on steroids. Caper berries are bigger than a caper, meaty, tender, and briny, much like olives. They come on a stem, so there’s no toothpick necessary. 

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This cocktail makes an excellent aperitif or digestif for all the rich and hearty seasonal foods this time of year. Who doesn’t want a little savory sip to prep the palate or aid in digestion? Get the recipe below:

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Caper Berry Gin Bohemian Martini

RECIPE TYPE: Cocktail

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 ounces quality gin or vodka – This tasteless spirit lends itself perfectly to the tangy brine. 

1/2-ounce dry vermouth – The subtle flavors in dry vermouth smooth out the kick from the vodka, making you go for sip after sip. 

1/2-ounce caper berry brine (straight from the jar they come in) – Bright and salty; is lighter than olive brine and makes this drink easy to drink. 

2 caperberries to garnish or more if you feel spicy – Salty with a nice crunch, garnishing with a caperberry or two adds a little surprise at the end.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Add all the ingredients, EXCEPT the garnish, to a shaker with a generous amount of ice (or stir in a glass full of ice, if that’s your thing).

Shake, shake, shake it up (or stir) for 30-60 seconds.

Filter out the ice and pour the liquid into your festive vessel of choice.

Top with a couple of caper berries, sip and relax.

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Show us how you recreate (or modify) this delicious recipe and use hashtag #beautyleebarpalate for a chance to be featured on our social.

We Tried Jennifer Aniston’s Self-Care Routine—Here’s What Happened

You know those article headlines that make your heart stop when you come across them (or is that just a weird us-thing)? Imagine our excitement when we came across this story in Vogue about Jennifer Aniston’s self-care routine and her secrets to looking (and feeling!) as good as she does. Yes, please! After reading the entire interview about five times, the inspiration came to us like a wave. As wellness editors who love a good self-care ritual almost as much as we loved every season of Friends, we wanted to get as close as we could to being Jennifer Aniston and try out every detail of her self-care routine for one week.

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A photo of this week’s mood, for reference:

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So, what happened when we swapped out our self-care rituals for a Hollywood A-lister’s? Did we achieve her effortless beauty and lit-from-within glow? Did Jen and us (finally) become best friends, as having the same rock-solid self-care routine would make happen? Read on for Jennifer Aniston’s self-care rituals we added based on her interview with Vogue and our experience trying out each of them.

No phone for the first hour after waking

The first step in Jen’s self-care routine is what we need the most: less phone time. As a group of people who rolls over and checks Instagram within 30 seconds of waking up, it’s time for a morning routine makeover. As for the details (we’re all about the details), Jennifer keeps her phone stored elsewhere and uses iPods or old iPhones for alarm clocks and sleep apps. We charge our phones across the room and set an alarm on our echo clock.

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Jen talks about finally checking her phone after about an hour to find text messages wondering where she is, which we can only assume is from her team of assistants, BFF Courtney Cox, or maybe Brad Pitt finally realizing he can’t live without her (we’ve known that for 20 years, Brad!). We don’t have a team of assistants or Brad Pitt caring about why we haven’t answered their texts, but at least our boss would notice if we were MIA, right?

At the end of the week, we have to be honest: Our mornings were much better. We had more time to fit in meditation (more on that below), and we swear we felt less stressed when the first thought of our day was not centered around catching up on other people’s lives or texts we had missed. We are inspired to keep our current phone when we get a new one to use for sleep apps and alarm clocks. That’s some bougie-ish, but it’s also pretty genius. 

Use the Pattern app

While this is technically not a core piece of her self-care routine, Jennifer did mention that her phone is for texts, emails, and the Pattern app, which we needed to try. If it’s good enough for Jennifer Aniston, it’s good enough for us (also, it’s free, so we are game). We have never heard of Pattern, and TBH, it blew our minds. It uses data to help you better understand yourself and others for deeper connections. In a world where most of our screen time is spent watching people, we don’t know dance or cook feta pasta, it was cool to spend some time exploring our personalities and what’s going on in our life.

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You can use it as a tool to understand yourself better, a reference to make goals (it gives you peak days/times), or even as a way to connect with people who share similar personalities and values. Think of it like a dating app, only instead of swiping left-on gym selfies, you will be matched based on your deepest personality traits. Some of us learned that we are self-critical, deep, and passionate. It’s cool, and we thank the app gods and Jennifer Aniston for bringing such a fascinating tool into our life for free.

DIY a collagen latte

Probably the best thing to come out of this experiment is that we finally know Jennifer Aniston’s coffee order. Scratch that—she calls it a coffee routine. So, when we order Starbucks, we will no longer tell the barista that a Grande cold brew with one pump hazelnut and an inch of oat milk is the order, it’s our coffee routine. In a pleasantly surprising twist of events, Jen’s morning coffee is pretty doable. She adds a scoop of collagen from Vital Proteins, a dash of cinnamon, and a packet of Stevia because she has a sweet tooth. Meanwhile, she steams her almond milk while this concoction is forming and will occasionally indulge in her guilty pleasure, hazelnut Coffee Mate (that’s the relatable queen we know and love!).

Luckily, for this experiment, we already had a milk frother ready to go, oat milk on hand, and some collagen that we typically add to smoothies. We prefer the taste of iced coffee, but we quickly learned that collagen plus iced coffee does not equal a Jen-approved superfood latte. Collagen needs heat to dissolve or else it will turn into goop at the bottom of your cup (and not that kind of Goop). But once we nailed the hot coffee routine, we liked knowing we were getting some extra nutrients and protein in the coffee. 

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For the ones who don’t like or drink coffee:

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Be mindful of what your eyes and ears ingest

PSA: Your mouth and stomach are not the only body parts that digest. Jen is protective of her boundaries by limiting news sources, social media, and negative content. It makes us happy that Jen is protecting herself because we would protect her at all costs. But this is a great point because health is not only about choosing the best way to nourish our bodies with food but also about how to nourish our minds and souls. The podcasts we listen to, the people we spend our time with, the shows we binge on Netflix, the accounts we follow on Instagram, and the way we speak to ourselves (and others) are all things that feed us too. 

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We always try to be conscious of this by unfollowing or muting accounts that don’t serve us, watching comedies that make us happy over horror movies or sad shows, and limiting news to what we need to know. But this week, we were not only thinking about what not to watch, listen to, and read, but we also made a conscious effort to consume more of what to watch, listen to, and read. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or watching Netflix, we read inspiring books and listened to motivating podcasts. To no one’s surprise, it was truly the most motivated we had been in a long time (and not just because we’ve been comparing ourselves to Jennifer Aniston a little too much). 

Meditate after making coffee

Spoiler alert: Meditation was by far the most drastic change that came out of this week for some of us. It’s something we think we should do but never really make time for. We tell ourselves we will meditate after we take a smoke break, on our lunch break, or before bed, but it doesn’t always happen. Having a specific time built in to meditate (i.e., right after making coffee) was the game-changer because we did fit it in. 

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Jen explained that she meditates after “a few sips of coffee,” so we panicked because we weren’t sure if she takes the rest of the coffee with her to meditate (will that be a distraction and ruin the purpose?) or lets her coffee sit there and get cold after a few sips (maybe normal for the rich and famous?). We need a detailed play-by-play, Jennifer! We ended up sitting on our yoga mats with our bougie latte in hand for about five minutes of meditation (we couldn’t let collagen go to waste). 

Jen uses Insight Timer, so we used it and tried the courses she mentioned: lowering anxiety and how to create gratitude and abundance. Through this experiment, we learned that we prefer guided meditations. There’s way too much going on in our big brains to sit in quiet stillness, and we don’t always know what to write when journaling. Insight Timer achieved what it promised for us—we instantly felt a little less anxious throughout the day, and we felt major gratitude. This is nothing groundbreaking to the self-care world, but we give a morning meditation 5/5 stars. 

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Adopt a pro-aging mindset

As someone in their mid-twenties, whether we are for or against aging is not a topic we’ve put much thought into. we like to think we are already a “pro” because we regularly pretended to be 21 years old before we were. But we think we can all agree that of all celebs, Jennifer Aniston is the first one to come to mind when thinking of the Buzz phrase “aging gracefully.” Not only does she look phenomenal at every age (like, how?), but it also seems like she hasn’t resisted getting older. Rather, she’s slightly adjusted her hair, beauty, routine, and relationships to each phase in her life without trying to look like Season 1 Rachel Green. 

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The biggest lesson we got from Jennifer Aniston’s pro-aging mindset is something we also learned from our mom’s aging mentality: We are lucky to be able to get older because a lot of people don’t get the chance. We are sure we might feel less hunky dory about it when we get crow’s feet and gray hairs, but we do believe there’s something to be said about enjoying every age of life instead of wishing we could be younger. This week, we made an effort to make decisions for our future selves by eating fruits and veggies, getting enough sleep, and moving our bodies more, knowing that taking care of ourselves now is an investment in our future selves. As Mrs. Aniston (Jen’s mom) used to say, “This is about longevity. It’s a privilege to grow old, but we don’t have to grow sick.” 

Keep learning and educating yourself

It’s relatable that Jen casually mentioned to her manager that she wanted to educate herself more, so her manager arranged conversations with icons like Jay ShettyJessica Yellin, and David Sinclair (to be read in your best Chandler Bing-level sarcasm). We guess when you are an icon yourself, you have access to all the other icons. But as total wellness nerds who grew up loving to read (yeah, we were and still are that girl), we love that learning is a key part of Jen’s self-care routine. The goal of wellness is just growth: growing in health, growing in self-love, and growing in knowledge. When we’re constantly learning, we’re constantly growing.

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We try to make more of an effort to attend lectures, listen to podcasts, and read books to grow our health knowledge, but the major change from this week was how we saw those efforts. We typically see education as an extension of our career, like we are staying up to date to be the best we can be at our job. But seeing it instead as a way to care for us transformed what we got out of it. Education, even in the name of a career, helps us grow as people, not just as a job title. If you ask us, that’s caring for yourself more than a face mask or smoothie ever could.

Supplement your health with products that work

To quote Jennifer Aniston quoting Dr. Sinclair, “As we age, our cells start to shut down and the lights in our body turn off. But you can turn those lights, those genes, back on.” One of the ways Jennifer likes to turn those genes back on and age as healthy as possible is through tried-and-true supplements, like the aforementioned collagen (she uses Vital Proteins, of which she is the chief creative officer for the brand).

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We are typically wishy-washy with supplements. We get excited about a new multivitamin and take it religiously for a couple of weeks before forgetting about it altogether, or we know we feel our best when we are consistent with our probiotics but can’t always seem to remember to take them. This week, we were more consistent than we’ve typically been with taking the supplements and vitamins our doctor decided were best for us. A major shift was (yet again) mindset: Rather than just another thing we were “supposed” to do, we thought of these supplements as another way to invest in our future self and to “keep the lights in our bodies turned on” as we get older. You bet we won’t forget to take multivitamins again. 

The Verdict:

Overall, following an A-lister’s self-care routine was surprisingly doable. We loved spending a little extra time prioritizing the things we typically forget about, like tech-free time or meditation. However, the biggest takeaway we got from spending a week as Jennifer Aniston (we mean basically, right?) is that mindset is her secret. Don’t get us wrong: We are sure she has a team of the best beauty gurus and wellness experts on speed dial and the best products that only money (and fame) can buy. But her actual routines are fairly simple. No two-hour workouts, strict diets, or 5 a.m. wakeup calls are needed to achieve Jen’s lit-from-within glow.

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We love that the way she cares for herself is built around her mindset. She’s not using self-care rituals as a mask to achieve an “ideal weight” or to stay young forever; she cares about health because she wants to live the longest, happiest life possible. Now if that doesn’t sound like the moral of a movie where Jen would play the lovable protagonist, we don’t know what does.